How to construct this table top?

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Forum topic by Randy_ATX posted 10-06-2014 07:34 PM 978 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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879 posts in 2468 days

10-06-2014 07:34 PM

I would like to build this style of table for outdoors. The top will be about 3’ x 3’. I have no plans, and only saw a photo of something similar in a magazine. There will be a slight gap between boards to allow for water to drain. I plan on using either white oak, cedar or cypress ~4/4.

My question is how would I join these top pieces? I wouldn’t think mortise and tenon would be the way to go, but maybe that’s the only way to do it? If so it may be more than I want to get into! If anyone has some suggestions on how to do this I would apprreciate it. Thanks!

Partial sketch:

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

4 replies so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20594 posts in 3131 days

#1 posted 10-06-2014 09:05 PM

How thick is it? You could mortise that lone X boards and them cut tenons on all the slats in between and just slide them in and pin nail them in place. You could make the X pieces 2×4 and the slats 1×4 and then put the tenon on the lower half of the 1×4s.

Looks like a fun project.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View AandCstyle's profile


3075 posts in 2283 days

#2 posted 10-06-2014 11:53 PM

Cut a dado in the X pieces as Jim suggested, then cut tenons on the slats. Cut spacers to the appropriate length and the width of the dado, then put in a slat, a spacer, a slat, etc. Put dab of waterproof glue on all the parts as you insert them into the X pieces. Clear as mud? HTH

-- Art

View mahdee's profile


3888 posts in 1793 days

#3 posted 10-07-2014 12:02 AM

Depending on what part of the great state of TX you are in, that joinery may last but five years if you are lucky. For outdoor furniture, the most important thing about the design should be the amount of air-flow after a rain or in humidity. The more air flow you can create to dry the wood after a rain or during humid weather, the longer it will last.


View Randy_ATX's profile


879 posts in 2468 days

#4 posted 10-07-2014 02:14 AM

Jim, Art and Mr Jinx – thanks for the input. Good suggestions. Boards will be around 4/4 so just under an inch.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

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